Saturday, June 30, 2007

Finding a Spot

The hunt for another place to live continues. We looked at an apartment last night that would've allowed us to have a dog. The rent was reasonable, cheaper than what we're paying now, and closer to the church. It was your basic, bottom of the line apartment. They had just repainted the walls and shampooed the carpet in the living room, but it was still... not a place either one of us would be very happy living in for the length of a one- year lease. The first floor was essentially just the kitchen, which barely fits our table, and the living room. The second floor was the bathroom (equally as small) and two bedrooms. And they would have charged us an extra security deposit to have the dog! Like Gregg said, "I don't want to commit to crap".

I'm really discouraged. It seems that every place we've found either charges up the wazoo in rent, is yucky, or doesn't allow a dog. We are gathering quite the pile of rental applications. I wondered aloud last night if we'd have to sacrifice one for the other- find someplace else for Tess to live, giving her up altogether, or keep her and live in a crusty place we don't really like. Our options seem bleak. Even though the water is working fine here now, 3/4 of our stuff is still sitting in boxes out in the hot garage and Tess can't stay at Gregg's parents forever, especially with his mom having knee surgery in the middle of July.

And well, the Stouffer's come and go a lot. They never come upstairs, but it's still weird having them downstairs in the basement when you can hear every little thing through the floor. One time they had some of their children and grandchildren over to watch home movies for several hours on a Sunday night. Uncomfortable. They were kind enough though, to invite us to a cookout they're having tomorrow- at this house! Now, I know that they still own it, but they do have another house that they're living in which I'm sure would be just fine for a barbeque. Why can't they have it over there?

Speaking of places to live, Gregg found this website that has a fun quiz you can take to see where your ideal "spot" is. After he had answered all the questions, it gave him a list of twenty different places based on his preferences. The very first spot was Glens Falls, NY which is a stone's throw away from Word of Life where he went to college. He also got matched to several places in Vermont and Alaska. Now when I took the quiz, the first place that came up for me was some town in Colorado. I also got lots of cities in Florida, one being Melbourne, which is right next to Palm Bay! I joked to Gregg, "You see, honey, the only way we'll ever be happy is if we live hundreds of miles apart."

So it looks like my ten year HS reunion is happening on September 15. I just got something in the mail today about it, from a company my alma mater hired to collect all the alumni info. The letter was sent to our house in Florida and forwarded here. I was wondering if they'd know where to send it, since I've now had four different addresses from the time of my high school graduation. Basically, they want to track all of us down so they're asking for our current address, phone number and email. I would put my address, but I don't know where we'll be living come September! Ha ha.

I'm toying with the idea of going. I think it would be fun to learn what all of my former classmates have been up to for the past ten years and see how everyone's changed. At the same time, I barely talk to anyone I went to high school with. But then I guess that's the point of a reunion. Wow, that makes me feel old. I can't believe I'll be turning 28 in four weeks.

Well, I guess it's back to apartment hunting. Yippppeee!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ten Years Later

It's hard to believe that it's been a whole decade since I walked across that platform in the hot June sun and graduated with 300 of my fellow classmates from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. 12 years of "blood, sweat and tears" was over. My friends and I parted ways to go off to different colleges and start new lives, meet new people, enjoy new experiences. We had our whole lives ahead of us. I wondered if in ten years we'd be as close as we were then, which career I would have, who I'd be married to, where I'd be living. The future was one giant question mark.

The past ten years have flown by. I've lost touch with most of those friends; started a career; got married; moved four times; made new friends, lost them, made other ones. As I reflect on where I am now, I'm pretty happy with the way things have turned out. It's not the life I would have or could have plotted out back when I graduated from high school. My hopes and dreams, my values and priorities were different in 1997 as opposed to right now. I could not have imagined that I'd be married to a man whose career goal was full time ministry, or that the relationship I had with my family would change so dramatically over time, or that life as an adult could be downright scary and confusing at times. As a starry eyed, naive 17 year old, I didn't think things would change that much from the small world I knew and grew up in.

A few weeks ago as I was looking for my masters diploma, which I needed for work, I came across a loose leaf paper journal filled with memories I had jotted down while still in high school. I thought I had thrown it away years ago. It mostly catalogued my senior year, the fun and crazy times I had with my best friends. The memories came flooding back. As I sat there reading the handwritten pages about younger, carefree days it was like ten years had never happened. I found myself laughing out loud at some entries and wanting to cry at others. I remembered warmly the friendships that I had and how we felt invincible at the time. These memories are encapsulated for all time in a tattered edge sheaf of paper held together with a rusted paper clip. Those were, in many ways, the time of my life.

As my ten year high school reunion approaches, I think back on all my experiences, good bad and ugly as a student: the boyfriends, the trends, notepassing, school trips, teachers, heartbreaks, all the angst that comes with being a teenager. While it's not my intention to live in the past, it can be fun to take a journey back to the nineties and relive a little of that high school nostalgia every now and then.

"All the memories of looking out the back door,
I have the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor.
It's time to say it, hard to say it: goodbye.
All the memories of walking out my front door,
I found the photo of the friend that I was looking for.
It's time to say it, so hard to say it: goodbye.
- Nickelback

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We Have GOT To Move

Things with the house get more ridiculous every day. Yesterday morning around 5:30 I got up as usual, went potty, flushed and realized... there was no water again. So back to the bedroom I went to wake Gregg up and tell him the situation. He groggily arose and went down in the basement to investigate. In the meantime, I got out the container of water we still had stashed under the sink just in case the water didn't come back on. I washed my face and brushed my teeth as Gregg came back upstairs and told me what I already knew- that I would have to forgo my shower. I resorted to using what little water was left in the container to wash my hair, not getting all the shampoo out. Fabulous, just fabulous.

So here we are without water to bathe, cook or do laundry with and the Stouffer's are... on vacation. And Gregg doesn't have Bob's cell phone number! Well, he did but he misplaced it. When he got to work he called the Stouffer's daughter, Brenda, in her office downstairs and left a message. She didn't call back all day, which is strange because she always gets here soon after we both leave for work and checks her messages. When I arrived at the house around 4:30 and opened the door, I instantly realized we had another problem- no air, since the water controls the air conditioning. And yesterday was in the high 80s with very little breeze.

After Gregg got home shortly after me we decide together that we need to find Bob's cell phone number or someone who can give it to us, because there's no way we're staying in this house with no A/C and no water. We rummaged around downstairs in the basement and found Brenda's home phone number in a rolodex. I volunteered to make the call. The line was busy but after the fourth attempt, I got through. Her husband answered and I explained our situation to him. He said he would call Brenda on her cell phone and see if she could get back over to the house to check things out.

Within half an hour she showed up and after checking the water pressure and the circuit breaker, called her dad and told him what was going on. He said that if we needed to, we could stay the night at their other house. He also said, "Doesn't Gregg have my cell number?" Ugh. She found a bill from the guy who serviced the well pump last time and called him next. He told her about a reset button which she pushed and then cranked the lever nearly fifty times before finally, the water came back on again. She called him again and he graciously offered to come over to take a look at things. After about twenty minutes, he figured out by accident that one of the tanks wasn't working anymore. He hadn't thought to check it last time. He concluded that that was the problem and he would need to replace it. Brenda called her father back and he said "Do whatever it takes". So the well guy came this morning and was still here working when I got home from work. Everything seems fine... for now. I hope this is the permanent fix we keep getting promised.

I really don't mean to crap all over the Stouffer's good nature with them letting us stay here, but this is the third time in less than two months that the water has stopped working. You pretty much expect as you go through your day, to have this basic necessity. Gregg and I were so frustrated that we just wanted to take the first available rental we could find and be done with it. Ironically, just the night before this all happened, I was actually thinking "Hey it wouldn't be so bad if we stayed here a few more months! I'm kinda getting used to this place."

Famous last words.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Update on the House and Other Stuff

What an original title I came up with! That's all the creativity my mind can muster up at 7:30 in the morning. So the water has been fixed (yay), but the pressure is still not quite right. You turn on a faucet and the water sprays everywhere for a while before calming down. It's especially bad in the kitchen for some reason. And the air conditioning doesn't work on one end of the house now. A fine time for that to happen as the temperature reaches about 90 degrees. We're 0 for 2, folks.

On Friday night, Gregg hosted his first Sound & Vision Dinner at the church. He had it catered by the Carousel, which is also an ice cream shop and gift store. They made hot dogs and hamburgers, pulled pork, baked mac & cheese and cherry cobbler for dessert that Gregg just had to pick up and bring to the fellowship room. I showed up around 5:45 after getting off work and helped him set up. More people came than expected, which was great. They all had good questions and input afterwards.

There was enough food left over for a soup kitchen! I wanted to give it to a homeless shelter, but we couldn't reach any of the centers in town to see if they would take it. We ended up bringing most of it home with us because King Street (unlike Covenant) doesn't want you to leave food behind in the refrigerator. Two couples stayed until 9:30 to help us clean up. While we were packaging up food and washing trays & utensils, I got to chat with the women who were very nice. It was the first time since we started going to King Street that I felt like I had made a real connection with people. We were invited to dinner by one woman and the other invited me to go shopping with her one day. Gregg and I were very happy that the dinner had gone so well and we ended up making some new friends.

Yesterday was a rather lazy day. I slept in until 9:15 while Gregg worked on power point slides for service. We finally made it out of the house at 1, and stopped by the church so he could make sure things were set up correctly for an event going on that night. That didn't take too long and then we were off to Walmart for a few things. On the way home, we stopped for ice cream in downtown Chambersburg since it was so stinkin' hot. There was absolutely nothing on tv that afternoon with the whole three channels that we get out here, so we decided to watch one of our dvd's. That, of course, required us to dig through a box in the hot & humid garage. We had to take out the speakers and VCR to get to the DVD collection down at the bottom. Did I mention I hate living out of boxes? After a few minutes, I selected Remember the Titans and we trapsed back into the house to watch it.

Twenty minutes before the movie ended, Gregg got a call from Pastor Ford asking him to do something with Song Show Plus for today's service. We knew there was a possibility he might have to go back to the church that night so it wasn't a big deal. He left at 7:15, and I heated up one of the leftover burgers for dinner and finished watching the movie. I was nearly falling asleep around ten when he called to say he was on his way home.

Well, I better start getting ready for church! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. :)

PS- Angelarae, do you have a blog?